Just 7% of U.S. Adults Have Gotten Updated COVID Vaccine
FRIDAY, Oct. 27, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Fewer Americans are rolling up their sleeves for the updated COVID-19 shot, leading health experts to call for a stepped-up vaccination campaign.
Only 7% of adults and 2% of children in the United States have received the new vaccine, a nationwide survey conducted two weeks ago revealed.
Experts expressed dismay at the numbers -- which were presented Thursday at a meeting held by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to the Associated Press.
But uptake may stay low. Nearly 40% of survey respondents said they "probably" or "definitely would not" get the shot. A similar percentage of parents said they did not plan to vaccinate their kids, the AP reported.
At the meeting, Dr. Camille Kotton of Harvard Medical School called the numbers “abysmal,” and urged stepped-up efforts to educate the public about the boosters.
Kotton said patients may be confused, the AP reported.
The new shot is just the latest that Americans have been asked to get over the past 2-1/2 years to fight COVID.
The new vaccine targets a highly contagious descendant of the Omicron variant dubbed XBB.1.5, the AP reported.
Dr. David Kimberlin, co-director of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, was also troubled that more people aren't getting the new shot.
“The recommendations are not being heard,” he said.
The government recently transitioned to a commercialized system that relied on the health care industry -- not the government -- to distribute the shots, AP noted. Some Americans who quickly sought shots said doctors and pharmacies didn’t have them.
The CDC has recommended the new shot for everyone 6 months and older.
While virus-related deaths and hospitalizations are lower than they have been since the pandemic began in early 2020, about 18,000 people nationwide are being hospitalized with COVID and 1,200 are dying each week.
Yale Medicine offers more about the updated COVID-19 vaccine.
SOURCE: Associated Press, Oct. 26, 2023